veteransupport

Successful Delivery of Presents to the Children of Paradise


Paradise crew makes  time for one final thank you to Family Giving Tree.
Photo credit: Dean McCully

We put out a call, five days before Christmas, to help the Family Giving Tree sort and wrap thousands of gifts for the children of Paradise/Butte County.  Without hesitation, Veterans and community members answered the call and showed up by the hundreds.  Because of this, Family Giving Tree was able to meet the deadline and successfully delivered presents to the children of Paradise.

Here’s a comment from our Board Secretary, Dean McCully; who helped coordinate this massive project.

Once the word went out, literally hundreds of volunteers started showing up at Family Giving Tree warehouse in north San Jose.   In fact, there were so many volunteers that everybody was getting a little nervous about unqualified people hanging around, maybe messing things up, or even getting hurt.

In fact, by Friday morning, it did start crossing our minds that we might actually have to turn away volunteers.  But nope, Jennifer the director of Family Giving Tree realized that she had enough volunteers to actually pull back thousands of unwrapped gifts, and have volunteers wrapping them.  So tons of unwrapped gifts got wrapped, thanks to an immense surge of volunteers.  Wow what an operation!   Wrapping was going so fast and furious that I think if anybody stood still for more than a few seconds, they would have gotten wrapped.   But nobody was standing still, and everybody was moving at lightning speed, and thousands of gifts were wrapped as well as sorted and ready for distribution.

The Paradise wildfire sucked.  50,000 homeless, 14,000 structures burned, almost 90 people known dead and 150+ still missing, lives put on hold or even destroyed.  But once volunteers engaged, thousands of kids had a little brighter Christmas…

You can read Dean’s accounts and see the results here.

Thank you to all who paused from their holiday preparations and celebrations; and made time to make a dismal holiday for others so much brighter – to give hope and joy. 

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A Look Back at 2018

As an up and coming nonprofit organization, we hit the ground running and learned new things along the way.  As we end 2018, here’s a look back at what we have done over the past year. 

  • Launched our core service and presented our mission and vision to the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County.
  • Visited and hosted events at colleges to share our services and educate students about their benefits and options, as Veterans.
Pizza and chat at San Jose State University
Resource fairs at West Valley College and Evergreen Valley College
  • New partnerships with companies who are Veteran-centered; offering services in education, employment search, and entrepreneurship.
    • Work for Warriors (WFW) is a State and Federally funded FREE Job Placement Program in California. The intent of the employment initiative branded “Work for Warriors” is aimed at assisting Post 9/11 Veterans, Active National Guard, Active Reserve members, Spouses, and Gold Star Families in finding civilian employment in their region of California.
    • NPower is creating pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities.
    • ZipRecruiter created a Veterans resource page to help find veteran-friendly jobs and career help such as career advice or interview tips.
  • Connected and partnered with organizations to raise awareness on the difficulties Veterans face while transitioning to their civilian lives..

Milpitas Rotary hosted an auction dinner to raise funds to support our mission.
Kiwanis of San Jose and Know A Vet put a picnic together for San Jose Vet Center clients and their families.
Vet-Net Summer Summit in Santa Cruz, Second Harvest Social Safety Net Group, Silicon Valley Veterans Summit, Spoke at Saratoga Rotary Club, San Jose Vet Center Christmas lunch for Veterans and their families.
  • Our core team attended training events to help propel us forward.
    • Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
    • Nonprofit Marketing with Social Media
    • Customer Relations Management (CRM)
  • Outreach events to the community

Military Appreciation at the ScoutORama, Memorial Day at Oak Hill Cemetery, Spirit of ‘45, Viva Calle, Day on the Bay, Family Fall Festival at Lake Cunningham, Senior Research and Wellness Fair, Veterans’ Day Parade, Honor on the Row
  • Launched our Facebook page
    • Real-time information on topics about Veteran resources, benefits, employment, education, events, and more.
    • Share our photos of activities we do and participate in.
    • Share information from our community partners.
  • Know A Vet News
    • Our weekly newsletter engages with those who are not on social media.
    • Share resources and benefits news curated from community partners and online sources.
  • Thanks to a fantastic set of donors and volunteers, we were able to provide a hot lunch to the 297th ASMC team who were mobilized to assist the Butte County/Paradise fire citizens.  You can view the album here.

We are looking forward to what 2019 will bring.

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Career / Opportunities July 31, 2018

Curated Veteran Jobs Listing for July 31, 2018

 Work for Warriors:  Assisting Post 9/11 Veterans, Active National Guard, Active Reserve members, Spouses, and Gold Star Families in finding civilian employment in their region of California.

Applied Materials – Technical Project/Program Management IV – Software Integration
Service Champions Heating and Air Services – HVAC Technician
Allied Universal Security – Mall Security Director – South San Jose
Coca-Cola – Swing Rep – Odwalla (San Jose)
Herz Rentals – Truck Driver Class C

MadSkillsVirtual jobs for military spouses; creates virtual jobs for professionals that allow them to earn a living, where they are, wherever they are.

Contract – Back-End Developer
Contract – Front-End Developer
Full Time – Outbound Scheduler – Entry Level
Full time – Project Coordinator-Entry Level
Full Time – Customer Service/Tech Support – Entry Level

GI Jobs: Resource for civilian jobs and careers, schools, and transition.

Good Samaritan Hospital – Respiratory Therapist II PRN in San Jose
Wells Fargo – Lead Teller in San Jose
Hilton – Housekeeping Room Attendant – Doubletree San Jose
United Rentals – Class C Truck Driver in San Jose
Regional Medical Center of San Jose – Anesthesia Tech PRN

hirepurpose: Helping transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses find careers they love

Apple – NPI Capacity Program Manager – iPhone
Nike – Converse Lifestyle Store – Seasonal Associate – Livermore, CA
Accenture – SAP Supply Chain Consultant, Northeast – Remote
Oakley – Sunglass Hut – Sales Manager
Pfizer – Patient Affairs Liaison – Remote

 

 

Travis Air Force Base Transition Summit
Thursday, September 6, 2018 – 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Delta Breeze Club
400 Winward Drive Travis AFB, CA 94535

Connect directly with HR experts and hiring managers via industry-specific employment briefs, attend our resume building and digital networking workshops to super-charge your transition to a civilian career, then network with dozens of companies at a free evening networking and hiring reception. This event is free and is open to active duty service members, Guard and Reserve, veterans, and military spouses. Please check back soon for the full event agenda.

REGISTER

 

 

The employment and entrepreneurial leads above were pulled from military-affiliated sites and organizations we are partnered with. While we are extremely careful about what leads we post, we do not guarantee employment or success in any enterprise. We ask that you do your due diligence and thoroughly research anything you’re interested in before submitting an application.

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Military Transition-Career Management: American Job Centers

 

Military transition is difficult enough when returning to civilian life.  Imagine what that translates to when it comes to employment search.  Do you know what your Military Occupation Specialty/Military Occupation Code (MOS/MOC) translate to in a civilian job?  Have you gone through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) before you left the military?  Have you ever talked to a civilian recruiter or an HR manager and get that deer in the headlights look?

Life after the military gets a little overwhelming in the first year or two, but transition to a civilian job shouldn’t be one of them.  There are many veteran friendly agencies that can help, beyond the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).  They understand the difficulties of translating your MOS to a resume that any headhunter can understand.

Career One Stop is a great source for career exploration, training, and jobs.  Here, you can find how to match your MOS/MOC with a comparable civilian job.  Just click on the Veterans Job Finder, enter your military job title and your location and it will find a match for you.

Nearly 2,500 nationwide American Job Centers (AJCs), maintained by Career One Stop, can help you look for work, provide you with career development training opportunities, computer access, help your resume shine and find answers to other employment-related questions.  You can find your local center by visiting their American Job Center Finder and entering your location or a zip code.

California has 121 job centers stating that they have veteran representatives on site.  18 are within the heart of Silicon Valley.  Here are the 13 of the 18 that have contacts for you to connect with:

North San Jose America`s Job Center of California
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   408-216-6053 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:      [email protected]
Veterans Representative #2 Phone:   408-216-6115 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #2 E-mail Address:      [email protected]

AJCC – Oakland (Oakland Airport Corporation Center)
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   510-564-0516 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:      [email protected]
Veterans Representative #2 Phone:   510-564-0509 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #2 E-mail Address:      [email protected]
Veterans Representative #3 Phone:   510-564-0510 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #3 E-mail Address:      [email protected]

America`s Job Center of California – EASTBAY Works
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   (925) 602-3993 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:     [email protected]

San Benito County One-Stop Career Center
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   408-216-6115 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:      [email protected]
Veterans Representative #2 Phone:   408-216-6041 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #2 E-mail Address:      [email protected]

EASTBAY Works RichmondWORKS
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   510-970-7337 (direct line)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:      [email protected]

America`s Job Center of California – Fremont
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   510-794-3669 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:      [email protected]
Veterans Representative #2 Phone:   510-794-3669 (office)
Veterans Rep. #2 E-mail Address:      [email protected]
Veterans Representative #3 Phone:   510-794-3669 (office)
Veterans Rep. #3 E-mail Address:      [email protected]

Menlo Park Workforce Services Office – AJCC
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:  650-688-6335 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:    [email protected]

Work 2 Future San Jose Job Center
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:  408-794-1100 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:    [email protected]

Tri-Valley One-Stop Career Center-Dublin
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   925-560-9431 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:     [email protected]

Capitola Career Center – America`s Job Center of California
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:  831-464-6286 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:     [email protected]
Veterans Representative #2 Phone:  831-464-6286 (office)
Veterans Rep. #2 E-mail Address:     [email protected]

Goodwill Central Coast Career Center
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:  831-423-8611 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:     [email protected]

Alameda One Stop Career Center / America’s Job Center of California
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:   510-748-2208 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:     [email protected]

EDD Workforce Services – San Francisco Civic Center
Veterans Representative #1 Phone:  415-749-7503 (office)
Veterans Rep. #1 E-mail Address:    [email protected]
Veterans Representative #2 Phone:  415-749-7503 (office)
Veterans Rep. #2 E-mail Address:    [email protected]

If you prefer to do things on your own, here are 3 that offer self-help resources.

Career OneStop Veteran and Military Transition Center Veteran and Military Transition Center is a one-stop website for employment, training, and financial help after military service.

Personal Branding Resume Engine Translate your military experience for employers, so they can translate it into success.
Help potential employers understand how the skills and experience you’ve gained as a service member make you a great employee. The Personal Branding Resume Engine™ will translate your military record into a strong resume that civilian employers can understand. Once you complete your resume, you can make it viewable by thousands of employers using the Resume Engine to look for qualified job candidates.

Careerspark is for military spouses, by military spouses.
Your experience matters. Discover all the skills you have and put them to work.
Maximize your work and volunteer experience with Career Spark and make your resume searchable to thousands of military-friendly employers in our database.

Everyone has preferences when it comes to job/career management.  The choice is yours.  Take that next step towards living your best life.

Your Turn:

Did you find the nearest Job Center for you?

Have you visited any of these locations?  What did you or didn’t you like about it?

How can Know A Vet help simplify your military career transition?

 

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Career / Opportunities July 17, 2018

Work for Warriors:  Assisting Post 9/11 Veterans, Active National Guard, Active Reserve members, Spouses, and Gold Star Families in finding civilian employment in their region of California.

Palo Alto Networks – All Positions (Tech, IT, HR, Sales, Admin, Eng.)
Academy of Art University – Veteran Benefits Administrator
Auto Nation – Service Advisor
Wiser Solutions – DevOps Engineer
East Bay Municipal Utility District – Customer Services Supervisor

Hire A Hero:  Online job board for veterans and their families

EA – EAX Developer
Best Buy – Geek Squad Appliances
Sodexo Atherton – Unit Marketing Coordinator
Sodexo Palo Alto – Food Operations Manager 3
Sodexo San Jose – General Manager 3
Sodexo Sunnyvale – Director 2-Facilities Operations

MadSkillsVirtual jobs for military spouses; creates virtual jobs for professionals that allow them to earn a living, where they are, wherever they are.

Contract – Back-End Developer
Contract – Front-End Developer
Part-Time – Rich media Designer/Developer
Full Time – Outbound Scheduler – Entry Level
Full time – Project Coordinator – Entry Level

GI Jobs: Resource for civilian jobs and careers, schools, and transition.

Wells Fargo – Personal Banker 1
Wells Fargo – Teller
Hilton – General Manager
Verizon – Part-Time Sales Associate
IBM – CICD Engineer

The employment and entrepreneurial leads above were pulled from military-affiliated sites and organizations we are partnered with. While we are extremely careful about what leads we post, we do not guarantee employment or success in any enterprise. We ask that you do your due diligence and thoroughly research anything you’re interested in before submitting an application.

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Effective Therapies to Treat PTSD

The path to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery has many forks in the road, is long, winding, and personalized.  Finding the right path that works for an individual sometimes takes trial and error and continuous research.  What works for one may not work for another.  Some work well within a group, and others work best alone.  Sometimes, it takes a combination of different treatment programs to find forward momentum and success.  There are three main options, to date:

Psychotherapy   

The most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD is trauma-focused psychotherapy.  It takes about 8-16 sessions to complete.  Here three types that show the best evidence for treatment:

  1. Prolonged Exposure (PE): a repeated revisiting of trauma in a safe setting, it allows for a change of reaction to memories of trauma and gives the ability to learn how to master fear- and stress-inducing situations.
  2. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): focuses on the impact of trauma, identifies the negative thoughts related to that event, understand how those thoughts case stress, replace those negative thoughts and cope with the upsetting feelings.
  3. Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): focuses on other stimuli while revisiting the experience (therapy guided eye movements or follow hand taps), helps reprocess traumatic information until no longer psychologically disruptive.

Pharmacotherapy

When non-drug treatment is not enough, pharmacotherapy is introduced.  Medications have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of symptoms.

Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapy is another option in keeping symptoms of PTSD from taking over your life.  Here are some organizations that offer these services.

Sierra Club Military Outdoors – organizes outdoor trips for veterans, other service members, and their families.  They provide a unique experience to foster mental and physical health, emotional resiliency, and leadership development. For many veterans, spending time in the outdoors can also help ease the transition to civilian life.  Activities include river rafting, mountain climbing, or fly fishing.  Check out their featured military outdoor trips this summer.

Outward Bound for Veterans – helps active duty service members and veterans readjust to life at home through powerful wilderness courses that draw on the healing benefit of teamwork and challenge through the use of the natural world.  Powerful wilderness courses include rafting, sailing, or dog sledding.  Look here for their summer course schedule.

Warrior Built Foundation – The purpose of our foundation is to provide new motivation, camaraderie and to spark their imagination by constructing any type of vehicle from the ground up.  Veterans are exposed to fabrication and mechanics.  Take a look at some of their completed build projects and Calendar of Events / Schedule.

Project Sanctuary – brings health and wellness to military families. They are assessed to determine if they need support and services now or if they can be scheduled for a retreat.

Operation Freedom Paws – Empowers veterans to restore their own independence.  Trains clients to train a service dog for their specific needs.  Builds human-canine service teams.  Provides the support needed for clients to succeed.  Find out more about their Application Process.

Shelter to Soldier – brings veterans and rescue dogs together to recover and move forward.  You can apply online.

One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding – OSC signed a formal agreement with Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System to provide equine assisted therapy to U.S. Military Veterans recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of war.  The pilot program with five Veterans and is now serving approximately 10-15 per week and more than 300 Veterans per year across several V.A. departments.  Get to know these creatures by viewing their Equine Profiles.

National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy – the Veterans Program offers active-duty and retired military personnel the opportunity to participate at no cost. The program encourages physical and cognitive rehabilitation, providing Veterans with a safe environment in which to regain their independence, confidence, and strength.  Their offer services such as equine-assisted therapy, adaptive riding, adaptive horsemanship, or equine-assisted mental and behavioral health.  Read the NCEFT Veteran Program FAQs for answers to common questions about their program.

Choosing a treatment can be very difficult because there are not one-size fits all type of treatment.  To help compare treatments, visit the VA’s PTSD Treatment Decision Aid or take a look at their Treatment comparison chart.  This decision aid helps you learn about effective PTSD treatment options. You can read about the treatments or watch videos explaining how they work. You can even build a chart to compare the treatments you like most. In the end, you will get a personalized summary.

Research for PTSD treatment for veterans continue and we will always be looking for what’s new, what’s working now, and what does the future hold?

Here are links to other sources to learn more about PTSD.
National Center for PTSD
Make the Connection
About Face
Warrior Wellness Solutions
Road Home Program
Give An Hour

Here at Know A Vet?, we strive to share resources with our military community.  Do you know of local resources that have done well in treating our veterans and service members in need?  Please share your knowledge and help us help our vets.

 

 

 

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Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

Memorial Day, the commemoration of men and women lost in battle, is just around the corner.  Many events are taking place to honor them; where you will find service members honoring their comrades and Gold Star families who sit in reflection as they remember that fateful day they received the news.  As we stand to honor our fallen heroes, also remember their families that made the sacrifice.

The weekend is chock full of ceremonies and events honoring our heroes and making the day special for the families left behind.

Local Cemeteries & Memorial Parks

California Vietnam Vets Memorial
1255-1289 15th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Reading of the Names:  May 27 @ 7:00 a.m.
The names, branches of service, and hometown of 5,673 individuals engraved on the memorial wall will be read by the Vietnam Vets of America (VVA) Chapter 500.

Oak Hill Memorial Park
300 Curtner Ave
San Jose, CA 95125
Ceremony:  May 28 @ 10:00 a.m.
Service for Japanese Americans, memorial for Civil War and Spanish-American War descendants, Vietnam Veterans remembrance.  On display:  3 tanks, Korean War fighter jet, WWI-era classic cars, Huey helicopter (fly and land at 11 am), veterans’ resource fair, free hot dogs.

 Santa Clara Veterans Memorial (Central Park)
909 Keily Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Ceremony:  May 28 @ 3:00 p.m.
Gunnery Sergeant Denny Weisgerber (Korean War Vet) is scheduled to speak, a wreath-laying ceremony and a performance by Cupertino’s Symphonic Band

Los Gatos Memorial Park
2255 Los Gatos Almaden Road
Los Gatos, Ca 95124
Ceremony:  May 28 @ 11:00 a.m.
The unveiling of the bronze eagle by three Pearl Harbor survivors, a performance by the 50-piece San Jose Metropolitan Band, free coffee, donuts, hot dogs, sodas.

Mountain View Veterans Memorial
Eagle Park, 650 Franklin Street
Mountain View, CA
Ceremony:  May 28 @ 11:00 a.m.
Wreath-laying ceremony, raising of the flag, laying red paper poppies

Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery and Calvary Catholic Cemetery
22555 Cristo Rey Drive
Los Altos, CA 94024
Ceremony:  May 28 @ 10:30 a.m.
Featuring: National Anthem, Prayer, Speeches, Lowering of the Flag, Taps, Moment of Silence, Tribute Wall, and Mass in honor of our heroes. Tributes and Masses held outdoors. Chairs and shade tents provided. Please allow time to park.

San Francisco National Cemetery
1 Lincoln Boulevard
Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129
For information please contact Golden Gate National Cemetery (650) 589-7737
Ceremony: May 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Parade starts at 10:30 am at the Main Post.  Click here for Ceremony Details
Parade, formal program, 21-gun salute, classic cars

For events in other national cemeteries, visit the National Cemetery Administration

 
Memorial Day Weekend Activities
May 26-28

Great America – Free Admission for all active or retired military members.  Fireworks show on Sunday at 9:45 pm.

May 27

Golden Gate Park Band Concert (Music Concourse) – Admission is free. special Memorial Day musical salute at 1:00 pm

Off-the-Grid’s Picnic at the Presidio (the Main Parade Ground) – Admission is free:  11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Cultural dance performance, 25 international food choices, music, lawn games, bike safety classes, yoga, crafts for kids.

USS San Francisco Memorial Ceremony – Admission is Free. Ceremony at 11:30 am.  The USS San Francisco (CA-38) participated in almost every Pacific battle from Pearl Harbor to the end of WWII, earning 17 battle stars.

May 28

Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 45– Submarine “Lost Boat” Ceremony aboard the USS Pampanito starts at 10:00 am.  Admission:  the ceremony is free and open to the public.  It never hurts to ask if they offer a military discount for a tour of the submarine.

USS Hornet (707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3, Alameda 94501)- Memorial Day Ceremony 11:00 am, followed by a wreath toss off the Fantail.  Tours are available:  $20 for adults, $15 for adults with Military I.D., and $10 for youth age 7-17 (age 6 and under are free with paying adult). Free for veterans.

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Why I Volunteer -Shreya

We have volunteers from local high schools fulfilling tasks in food service, outreach preparation, event attendants, and so much more.  Without their support, our events would not be as successful.  One such volunteer shares her reason for working with us.

Shreya Basireddy is a junior at Notre Dame High School in Downtown San Jose. She enjoys singing, dancing, playing video games, ice skating, and watching movies. She currently plans on pursuing engineering combined with art while, also, focusing on her dreams of being a scriptwriter. She discovered Know A Vet through her high school in her sophomore year and has been volunteering with them ever since.

 5 Reasons I Chose to Volunteer for Know A Vet – By Shreya Basireddy

School Requirement
It was another day in 2016. The school year was ending, and everyone was growing restless. I was just sitting with my homeroom waiting to hear the next year’s volunteering theme. I hoped it would be something easy to work with. Every year, I and all other students at my high school are required to complete volunteer hours that follow a “theme” of volunteering. We tend to use opportunities from the school to fulfill these hours, and I wondered what it could be. Suddenly, the theme was announced: marginalized communities. I was immediately confused. “What kind of marginalized community could I even work with?” I thought. I wanted to volunteer over the summer, but I didn’t know where to start. A few days later, my entire class received an email of volunteer opportunities; one of those was working with Know a Vet. I didn’t even know that veterans were a marginalized community. However, it seemed simple and worked with my schedule, so I decided to click “sign up” and volunteer. Though I may have begun my volunteering with Know A Vet out of necessity to complete my school volunteering hours, I have developed a new appreciation and 4 new reasons for volunteering with them.

A great experience for a positive contribution to the community
That year, I went to my first volunteering event with Know A Vet. I had a tremendously great experience and felt as if my volunteering time was a small contribution to actually benefit another community. This is the second reason I volunteered with Know A Vet and the main reason why I keep coming back. I know that every time I volunteer, whatever I’m doing, no matter how big or small, is making a positive impact on the veteran community. I’ve seen, through volunteering with events, the smiles that are put on so many veterans’ faces when they are being recognized and appreciated for their service. I like knowing that what I’m doing is going to have a good impact, and volunteering with Know A Vet guarantees that.

Genuine desire to help and inform
The third reason I volunteer is because of their genuine desire to help and inform as many people as they can. Know A Vet works incredibly hard to spread awareness about not only their organization’s support but also information of what veterans may be facing. One of my volunteering tasks was folding information cards with information about resources on how to support veterans. When volunteering, I want to know that the organization I’m working with is reaching out to and informing their desired audience and community in as many ways as possible. Know A Vet does this by holding fairs and events for elementary and middle schoolers to learn about veterans, who they may be, and how to help them with resources. I appreciate the fact that I can work with an organization that spreads awareness of the issue they are trying to combat to as many people as possible and helps the veteran community in as many ways as they can.

A sense of belonging
Another reason that I keep coming back to volunteering is the fact that I always feel welcome. The environment of helping and service make me feel as if my participation is always put to good use. Everyone at Know A Vet treats their own veterans, staff, and even the old and new volunteers as a family. Everyone who helps with the events and smaller volunteering jobs is appreciated equally for what they have done and are given chances to keep coming back. Being in an environment that is so welcoming and supportive of new hands to give help is truly reassuring because I always feel comfortable in returning for a new volunteering job.

Open new horizons
Lastly, volunteering gives me a whole new experience to interact with those who I would have never normally interacted with. I personally have never known anyone who was a veteran; either as family or friends, so I never would have thought to focus my volunteering with veterans. Now being able to not only learn more about what veterans face but also how to help them has widened my range of what I can do and who I can help. I’ve also gotten the unique chance at holiday events to talk with the veterans and hear their stories. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to provide a good experience for those who in return offer a learning experience for me. Every event I volunteer at teaches me more about veterans and about people in general.

 

 

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